BizSmart has been working with and supporting Worcestershire business owner Sarah Preece for several years, and with the dedication and commitment shown by Sarah and her team the business has been transformed and continues to grow. Read on to find out more about the progress the business has made.
After experiencing poor customer service on the phone, Sarah Preece came up with the idea for her business, Professional Call Minders. She started answering calls for a range of Worcestershire businesses back in 2005. Then, as the number of calls she was taking increased, she drafted in friends to help out.
From those humble beginnings, Sarah has created a solid business. PCM helps businesses across the county – and beyond – to make sure their phones are covered at all times, and their customers are getting a professional service.
The team handle calls for a range of clients from professional services businesses to doctors’ surgeries and clinics to tradespeople. Their core service is ongoing call answering but they also provide holiday and short-term cover, diary management and bookings, service desk support, customer order lines, telemarketing and database services.
Professional Call Minders evolved in an ad hoc way, and Sarah admits that her old telephone system was “held together with sticky tape” meaning that handling calls and passing on messages was more difficult than it needed to be.
Sarah was also manning the Professional Call Minders phones herself a lot, meaning she had little time to work on growing the business. A team of largely part time staff brought challenges, and Sarah hadn’t taken a holiday in years.
Mentoring and support delivered by BizSmart as part of the Worcestershire Business Accelerator programme made a big difference to Professional Call Minders. And getting a Worcestershire County Council grant was a key factor in helping to take the business forward and enabling it to grow.
In addition, BCRS provided a loan for the matched funding required as a condition of the grant. This meant that Professional Call Minders could update their telephony system. Now all of the information needed for each client is immediately available as soon as a call comes through.
The new system also means that absolutely everything can be tracked, with call logging and recording. This makes the entire call answering service quicker and easier, and delivers a better service for the company’s clients.
Valuable Coaching Support
The coaching support from BizSmart as part of the Worcestershire Business Accelerator programme was also invaluable.
Sarah said, “BizSmart has helped us to improve the way we run the business, made us more efficient and helped us to write a business plan. They really understood the challenges we were facing, and with their help we’ve doubled in size in terms of turnover.”
Professional Call Minders has just moved into new premises, there’s a team of reliable full-time employees answering the phones, and the business is on an upward trend.
Sarah added, “We’re just launching a white labelling service, so that other businesses can sell call answering as part of their packages, and we’ll deliver it for them. They then get a percentage each month.”
The goal is to double turnover again in the next three years, expanding the business and creating more jobs in the process. And finally, another benefit of creating a more stable and successful business is that Sarah now has the freedom to be able to take holidays!
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